UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Vic Pasillas impressed Ra’eese Aleem by winning his most recent fight in the fashion Pasillas produced that victory.
The Dominican Republic’s Ranfis Encarnacion entered that bout with a 17-0 record, including 13 knockouts. Pasillas battered Encarnacion before the undefeated southpaw knocked him down and out in the sixth round of that scheduled 10-rounder September 23 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“He’s a great fighter,” Aleem told BoxingScene.com. “It looks like he has fast hands, fast feet. He has good power, so he looks like he’s a top contender in our division. That was the only fight I’ve seen of his, was his last fight. He made the guy look bad. The guy was undefeated, so either he was a bum or Vic’s just that good.”
Regardless, Aleem intends to prove he is the superior fighter when he opposes Pasillas in a 12-round, 122-pound bout Showtime will televise Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I think that me beating him will prove that I’m a true threat in the division and nobody should really look past me,” Aleem said. “I believe I’m gonna get through him, and I’m gonna become the new crowned king. It’s just a matter of time.”
Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs), of Muskegon, Michigan, and Pasillas (16-0, 9 KOs), of Redwood City, California, will fight for the WBA interim super bantamweight title. Aleem, 30, is ranked second in the WBA’s 122-pound ratings, six spots above the 28-year-old Pasillas.
“My goal is to get him out of there,” Aleem said. “I don’t think we go the distance. I do think that I stop him. I’m prepared to go the distance, but we’ll see.”
In Aleem’s most recent action, he stopped an injured Marcus Bates in the 10th round of their rematch August 1 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Aleem had beaten Bates (11-2-1, 8 KOs), who took their second fight on only three days’ notice, by unanimous decision in their first fight, an eight-rounder in April 2018.
Aleem was supposed to fight Tramaine Williams that night, but Williams replaced Stephen Fulton as Angelo Leo’s opponent once Fulton tested positive for COVID-19. Leo (20-0, 9 KOs), of Albuquerque, New Mexico, beat Williams (19-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of New Haven, Connecticut, by unanimous decision to win the then-vacant WBO junior featherweight title.
The Leo-Fulton fight has been rescheduled as Showtime’s main event Saturday night (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT). In the opener of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast, Las Vegas’ Rolando Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBA interim lightweight title against Houston’s Justin Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.